Alzolay Day and Six-Man Rotation Love, Manager Fights, New Willy Bat, and Other Bullets

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Alzolay Day and Six-Man Rotation Love, Manager Fights, New Willy Bat, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Happy Adbert AlzoDay! The Cubs’ top pitching prospect, who debuted in a brilliant extended relief outing last week, will make his first big league start tonight. No pressure, dude. Just let the talent shine through and you’ll be fine.

  • Speaking of Alzolay’s start tonight, it’s coming as part of a six-man rotation, which you know makes me giddy. I love the idea of giving an extra day of rest across the rotation, modestly reducing the total innings load for guys who are going to be pitching in intense games for several more months, and potentially helping the bullpen by utilizing better rested (and possibly more effective) starting pitchers. To be sure, I didn’t think the six-man would come with both Tyler Chatwood and Alzolay in the rotation, but I do still think it’s going to be a good thing.
  • The Cubs don’t have another off-day until July 5, so this is an especially appropriate time to do it:

  • The big question is whether this will be a single turn through the rotation, or if the Cubs will try for another spin. Factors in that decision that have nothing to do with performance: (1) when Kyle Hendricks is ready to return (he threw this week, and if he could be back in a week, the Cubs would have to accommodate his return); (2) when Craig Kimbrel comes up; and (3) how the Cubs maneuver the bullpen to fit Kimbrel. What they’re not going to want to do is keep a six-man rotation going any have any shortness in the bullpen. It’s possible Alzolay will be optioned back to Iowa in favor of an additional reliever after his start tonight.
  • Here’s hoping Alzolay dominates so much that it makes any decision like that a tough one. And then Tyler Chatwood dominates, too, and the Cubs decide to go with a seven-man rotation when Hendricks returns!!! (OK, maybe not the seven-man part. But that’d be wild!)
  • Mets manager Mickey Callaway was disciplined privately by the Mets for his freakout on a media member who – quite literally – told him “see you tomorrow, Mickey.” But he wasn’t exactly going to apologize, and compared himself … to one of the most notorious New York managers ever? OK:

  • As for the Cubs’ manager, it’s almost funny to think about Joe Maddon ever getting into a dispute with the media:

  • I don’t have a narrative reason for include this picture from the end of last night’s game, and instead just wanted to note that it’s crazy how Steve Cishek somehow makes Kyle Schwarber look like a little brother the Cubs allowed to run around in the outfield:
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • That’s my catcher:

  • Also, check this out:

  • I’m not saying the bat is everything for these guys, but if there’s even a teeny, tiny bit you can do to help keep a swing on plane or reduce hand injuries or whatever … why not, right?
  • One of my favorite Cubs images of all-time:

  • Michael and Luis, together with Danny Rockett, were on NBC again last night after the Cubs post-game:

  • He’s ready:

  • Yuuuuup. Chicago has some really fun shortstops right now:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.